Clematis and Climbers

Growing Clematis In Pots

Last updated on March 1st, 2022

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No matter where you live you can enjoy clematis flowers, even if you live in an incredibly cold area. How? Potted clematis plants. Growing them in pots allows you to not only situate them anywhere in your garden but to cultivate them in areas where the soil or the ground itself might not be ideal. Even though they are flexible in terms of the soil parameters they require, you simply might live in an area where you don’t have suitable soil, you don’t have the time or money to change the soil, the ground freezes over in winter to such degrees that you can’t keep the plants alive. However, you simply might prefer to grow them in pots and containers.

Clematis in Containers

When you are growing clematis in containers you need to consider the size of the container first and foremost. The size, double standard, calls for a minimum of 45cm in diameter but this is for smaller clematis that reaches no more than two metres in height. Containers that are larger than this are obviously suitable for larger clematis and allow for full maturity. Also, the deeper the container the better because clematis prefers to have cool roots.

The second consideration for clematis in containers is the type of material used. Some materials are simply heavier than others so if you are going to pick a pot that is crafted from hard clay or cement, you need to place it in your garden where you want the plant to grow. If you try to plant it and then move it afterward you will find it far too heavy, especially once you add the soil and the plant. Similarly, the material chosen impacts the ability of your container being able to stand up to the winter weather.

Things like terracotta or ceramic might not withstand freezing temperatures without cracking, so if these are the containers you have, it might be in your best interest to consider placing them on a movable pallet and bringing them inside for the winter. Alternatively, you can pick resin containers or wooden containers that are able to withstand winter temperatures without sustaining any damage and those can be left exactly where they are in your garden. Remember though that wood rots so invest in quality timber pots. We really like resin pots because they are mostly frost-proof and don’t rot.

Planting your Clematis in Pots

When you are ready to plant and you have the appropriate pot you need to start by digging a hole that is slightly larger than the pot in which the clematis was purchased. Chances are you have purchased your clematis from a nursery, hopefully, one that is at least 2 years old so that you can expedite maturity and full flower production. Whatever the age, be incredibly careful with the clematis when you transplant it because the roots can be easily broken.

Once you have dug the hole mix in potting compost that is designed for container growing because it usually has a long-term feed in it and then add a little slow-release fertiliser. Transport the clematis directly into the hole and cover any remaining areas, add some mulch around the perimeter of the pot if necessary and water it.

As a new plant, it will likely need watering once a week until it reaches maturity and once established, you can reduce the watering, especially by adding mulch on top to help retain moisture. A few centimetres of mulch will allow the soil to maintain a cooler temperature while the rest of the plant gets full sunlight. Even once established, check whether it needs watering regularly by checking if the top 2 inches of the compost is dry.

Choosing a Clematis for Pots

You can grow most clematis in pots, however, you can get some specialised varieties that are not as vigorous and only grow to 6-8ft and are perfect for pots. A good tip is to look for clematis that is group 3 because they can be pruned back hard, which means they can be moved if needed, but more importantly you have access to the trellis to make any necessary repairs.

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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